Dutch poker pro Jorryt Van Hoof entered this year’s World Series of Poker final table as the chip leader, and has a track record that should attract the most demanding sponsor, yet spectators have wondered about the absence of sponsorship patches on his clothing.
Fellow countryman and poker journalist Remko Rinkema explained why in an article on ESPN this week, revealing that the Dutch government – in the throes of legalising online poker – has informed poker players that any sponsorship would be considered a “commercial” and could prejudice the eventual issue of licenses in the Dutch market to operators.
Apparently the Dutch authorities monitor commercials and major events like the World Series of Poker for signs of promoting online gambling before the legalisation becomes effective, and have used the warnings to intimidate aspirant licensees from any activity that could be construed as promotional in the Dutch market.
Rinkema rightly opines that Van Hoof would be a great sponsorship opportunity for a Dutch online poker provider, writing:
“[Van Hoof] would’ve been the perfect player to represent an online poker website. The accomplished pro is based in London, has been playing some of the highest stakes online for many years (as ‘TheCleaner11’) and is a very well respected and feared player.”